Photo courtesy of Aaron M. Sprecher – AP Photo
January 11th in Miami, Florida we will see two of the best programs in the country face off for the greatest prize in all of college football. The National Championship.
Alabama. Ohio State.
Both teams were able to come into their semifinal matchups and take care of business, despite vastly different expectations. Alabama was favored by three scores and showed the country why as they made Notre Dame look like an undeserving 4th seed.
Heisman Trophy finalists Mac Jones and Devonta Smith played huge roles in the 31-point effort, as did the snubbed Najee Harris. Jones was a wildly efficient 25/30 passing for 297 yards and 4 touchdowns. Smith was able to haul in 3 of those touchdown passes, a part of his monstrous 130 yard showing. On the ground, Harris was able to manage 8.3 yards per carry on his way to the 6th 100-yard game of the 2020 season.
Brian Kelly’s Fighting Irish were faced with a nearly impossible situation, and this one got ugly pretty quick. After a quick score from the Alabama offense and a lack of offensive production from Ian Book and Kyren Williams there was no doubt that we’d see the 1 seed moving into the Championship Game.
In the Sugar Bowl, we saw the rematch that everyone and their grandmother had been waiting for. The 2nd ranked Clemson Tigers taking on the 3rd seed Ohio State Buckeyes. Clemson were heralded as 7.5-point favorites in this one, but that apparent edge quickly faded as the Buckeyes seemed the more physical team from the start.
The biggest sign of this was the more than 200-yard discrepancy in rushing. Ohio State’s offensive line had Trey Sermon able to rack up 83 yards BEFORE contact. For Clemson Travis Etienne was held to 32 yards on 10 carries, just his second lowest total in either category on the year.
As well as the rushing edge, Day’s offense was nearly unstoppable in the passing game. Quarterback Justin Fields was 22/28 for 385 yards and an Ohio State record 6 touchdowns. What many expected to be a shootout only saw the proverbial gun working for one of the two teams there, sending Ohio State well on their way to a 49-28 victory.
This is going to be one of the most highly anticipated championships, and for good reason. These are two of the most potent offenses in the country, and both rosters are loaded with 4/5-star talent. The Barstool Sportsbook has Alabama favored by 7 points at open, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see that line move as updates on Justin Fields health are made public later in the week. I for one can’t wait to see how these titans are able to match up come January 11th in Miami.